Phoenix Stretch Wrappers Forms Specialized Support Group for System Integrators & OEM’s
Unlike many of our competitors, Phoenix is focused specifically on stretch wrapping systems. This allows us to devote substantial resources toward the continuous improvement of an already impressive line of stretch wrapping systems. We have been designing and manufacturing world-class stretch wrapping systems for over 30 years, and have an installed base of over 25,000 machines. Our only mission is to provide industry with the most durable, reliable and cost-efficient pallet wrapping systems available anywhere.
PSI Support is a focused group within Phoenix with one mission: to streamline the process of specifying, purchasing, installing and servicing the stretch wrapping portion of your integrated packaging system.
Because Phoenix only manufactures stretch packaging equipment, we have no hidden agendas, no competitive integrator sister companies, and no parent company deciding how to proceed with applications. As an independent manufacturer of only stretch packaging equipment, we are a supply partner, not a competitor for Integrated systems. Nor are we owned by competitive family of companies who compete with our Integrator partners.
Our dedicated staff of application engineers, systems specialists, and service technicians are ready to work directly with systems integrators and OEM’s to provide solutions to even the most challenging stretch packaging problems. This specialized staff has over 100 years of experience in stretch packaging, which allows them to draw from hundreds of existing designs to offer the most efficient and cost-effective solutions.
The PSI Support Group is engineering based, not sales based, so you are not filtered through the sales distribution sales channel. Our goal is to provide you, the System Integrator or OEM, with the most cost-effective solution by working directly with you to cut out unnecessary sales costs.
Unlike most of our competitors, Phoenix is not a part of a family of packaging companies assembled to compete as System Integrators in full line automation. We support our Integrator partners and won’t compete with them. At Phoenix, we’re focused on one thing and one thing only – building the best stretch packaging equipment.
Our application engineers typically provide quotations in 24 hours. You will work with the same engineer who designed the system before, during and after the sale thus giving you a smooth project transition from beginning to end.
Phoenix has decades of experience designing and building complex stretch packaging systems for a wide range of applications. Whether beverage, bagging, cold storage, distribution, high speed or 24/7, our goal is to provide the best solution for the application.
A True Partnership
Your success is our success, and that’s why we give you
more than just a sales quote. We’ll give you the sales
presentations, ROI calculations, videos and other materials
you’ll need to fully explain the features and benefits. Supply
us with your layout, and we’ll fit our machine into that layout
and return it to you promptly.
Contact Phoenix today and see the Phoenix difference.
Whether it’s the size of the warehouse, the volume of pallet loads, the structure of the load, the staffing levels of the company, each stretch wrapping application has unique qualities and challenges.
In this post, we want to discuss two common challenges in the stretch wrapping realm: tall and/or light loads. There are certain features and stretch wrapping machines that work best with this type of application.
When you’re talking about tall loads, the most obvious option needed is extra height. The film carriage – no matter the model – needs to be able to apply the film right to the very top of the pallet load. This is especially true for light loads that may require extra stretch film banding on the top to provide necessary support to the overall load.
In the application featured in this video, a Phoenix semi-automatic stretch wrapper (PLP-2150) wraps an oversized pallet of empty 2-liter bottles stacked roughly 10 feet high. The stretch wrapping machine has extra height to accommodate the tall pallet and our largest-in-class turntable easily holds the pallet.
A tall load has a greater risk of falling over than a standard height pallet. When the product is also light, this is even a greater concern. Limiting the movement of the pallets around the warehouse during the packaging process should be a consideration. We’ve pulled three examples to show several different ways to achieve this goal.
A popular choice for tall, light loads is our rotary arm stretch wrappers (available as semi-automatic or automatic).
In this first video, we had a customer with high production, tall and unstable loads, and limited warehouse space. We customized a solution for all three challenges. With limited space, multiple stretch wrappers were not an option, so instead we designed a single semi-automatic rotary arm wrapper that can wrap three loads one after another. As you see in the video, the machine and film carriage are mounted on a swivel base and an operator moves the wrapper from position to position. With the rotary arm design with extra height, the pallet load is stationary while the rotary arm does all the wrapping work.
Our second video showcases a wall-mounted frame model of our semi-automatic rotary arm stretch wrap machine. The pallet load – whether it’s tall, light, unstable, or some combination thereof – remains on the ground during the entire wrapping process greatly decreasing the possibility of toppling over.
Our final example is from a high volume distribution center and features three in-line automatic stretch wrap machines with the rotary arm. This set-up enables three pallet loads of different height, weight and product to be wrapped at the same time. Without a turntable or conveyors, the pallets are stable and can be moved around three at a time with a specialized forklift.
Instability comes with the territory for tall, light loads. A pallet of PET bottles could topple over with a strong puff of air from the HVAC system! Or, more appropriately, the movement of a high-speed stretch wrapper could cause a light load to shift during a wrap cycle.
When this is a challenge, we suggest integrating a top platen to stabilize a load during the wrapping process. When a pallet is placed on a turntable or centered on a conveyor, the top platen is lowered down onto the load. The pallet load is then snugly sandwiched in place for the duration of wrapping cycle.
When it comes to light loads, oftentimes a “light touch” with the stretch wrap is needed. For example, check out this video where our rotary ring stretch wrapper tackles a tall pallet of PET bottles that could be crushed if the film tension was too high.
Our rotary ring stretch wrapper (which has optional conveyors as shown in the video or pallets can be wrapped from the warehouse floor if stability is a concern) has the finesse to apply enough tension to secure the load, but not too much as to crush the empty bottles. In the video, watch as the film carriage turns the corners, you’ll notice a slight billowing of the stretch wrap – that’s the light touch desired in this specialized application.
We hope you consider a Phoenix stretch wrapper; we pride ourselves on helping our clients find the right packaging solution. Whether you have tall loads, light loads, unstable loads, or some other challenge, we’d love to work with you to find the right stretch wrap machine for your needs. We love customizing our pallet wrapping machines to suit the challenges of our customers. Contact us today and let’s start a conversation!
Each production line is different. Every warehouse has its own idiosyncrasies. Organizations face unique challenges relevant to their business line, product, staffing levels or floor space.
When considering adding a stretch wrapping machine to the mix or upgrading a current one, it’s a big decision and investment. At Phoenix Wrappers we take pride and care in truly understanding how a client’s business operates and working with them to find out what they need out of a stretch wrapper. We specialize in customizing our machines to suit a variety of business needs. We believe that’s the best way to get the most of a stretch wrapping investment.
Where does one start when it comes to choosing a stretch wrapping machine? Believe it or not, you’ve probably already started the process. Let’s jump right in.
Define Stretch Wrapping Goals
If you’re thinking about purchasing a stretch wrapper, then you probably already have a baseline idea of what you need this machine to do. Now, it’s time to consider it further and think through the details of your production line.
There are a few key questions to ask yourself and your organization to begin to shape your stretch wrapping goals:
What type of production (i.e. how many loads per day do you have to wrap) does your organization have now? Seasonally? In five years? In ten years?
This will help determine if you have enough production to warrant a fully-automatic stretch wrapping machine and/or the speed required. In many applications, a semi-automatic stretch wrapper does just fine and is a great introduction to automation in the production line. It will also help you determine not only the right machine for now, but the right machine for future growth as well.
What are the must-have features? Are there any special features you need that may require customization?
There are likely some features that you can’t live without. This might be a low-profile turntable so pallets can be loaded by pallet jacks or a top sheet dispenser to protect a pallet load from the elements. Consideration of the must-have needs will help narrow your focus as you begin to consider stretch wrapping models in step two.
Is this stretch wrapper part of a greater automation initiative or a stand-alone automation element?
Integrating a stretch wrapper into the production line takes careful thought about the overall packaging process. If there are other automation elements, a new piece has to be able to keep pace with production.
Other considerations include:
How are pallet loads created?
How are they moved around the warehouse?
How much space do you have for a stretch wrapper?
Once you have a strong sense of your organization’s needs and goals, it’s time to seek out the most suitable stretch wrapping solution.
Research Different Stretch Wrapper Options
Once you start looking, options for pallet wrapping machines can seem endless. That’s why this step is so important. It’s essential to understand the advantages of each different model and manufacturer. Match up each potential stretch wrapper against your defined goals identified in step one.
After an initial survey of available options, find out more about each stretch wrapper that matches your company’s criteria. Contact the manufacturers to feel out if their product and service suits your needs. Their expertise in stretch wrapping can help you further define your needs and guide you to the best option.
Compare Apples to Apples
Not all stretch wrappers are created equal. Some stretch wrappers may look similar, but it’s about the details. Look at service packages, warranties and delve into the specs. Phoenix stretch wrappers include many options in our standard models that other manufacturers consider “extras” or “upgrades.”
It may help to build a spreadsheet comparing the features of several machines to see which one comes out on top. It’s important to consider the overall package, price and anticipated return on investment. The essential question is: What are you getting for the money? Comparing the stretch wrappers on the same set of qualities will narrow down the options even further.
Make It Work For Your Budget
As with all business decisions, consideration has to be given to the budget. A stretch wrapping solution has to align as closely as possible to needs while being within a company’s budget availability.
Something to take into consideration is the cost savings possible with a stretch wrapper. For example, if you’re upgrading your production line from hand wrapping, you will see significant savings in stretch film. With a stretch wrapping machine, the film is pre-stretched drastically lowering the amount of film necessary to sufficiently wrap a pallet load!
If you are considering our high-speed rotary ring stretch wrapper, savings could be even greater. This pallet wrapping machine allows for one-way wrapping, which saves about 30 feet of stretch film with every pallet load while still providing the necessary load retention wraps.
The less tangible benefits of a stretch wrapping machine should be considered as well. Things like increased safety and fewer injuries, improved production and flow, and consistent and professional packaging are impacts that should be taken into account.
At this phase in the process, you should have a good idea of the best stretch wrapping solution that fits your needs, goals and budget. There’s just one more step.
Customize Your Packaging Solution
One of the ways Phoenix Wrappers differs from our competitors is that we are eager to work with our customers on custom stretch wrapping solutions. To truly optimize your production line, you have to have an end-of-line packaging solution that fits with your processes, labor demands, space constraints and outputs. Check out some of our custom stretch wrapping solutions and watch some of our stretch wrapping videos to see what’s possible. We’d love to work with you to find the right solution for you.
We said there would be five steps, but there is a sixth step – the best step of all! It’s time to implement your stretch wrapping solution and begin to see the benefits in production, safety and budget savings.
We hope you consider a Phoenix stretch wrapper; we pride ourselves on helping our clients find the right packaging solution. We love customizing our pallet wrapping machines to suit the challenges of our customers. Contact us today and let’s start a conversation!
Long before a pallet of product ends up at the pallet wrap machine, there’s a lot that goes into the planning and building of a pallet load. How a pallet of product is built is a critical variable in the packaging process and ensuring the product successfully arrives at a customer’s location.
Pallet wrap machines are used in diverse packaging applications from high volume beverage distributors to garden and nursery suppliers. While the product often drives the form and shape of a pallet, there are some general guidelines. Let’s take a look:
1. It starts with the right-sized pallet.
The pallet itself – whether it’s made of wood or plastic – is the foundation of every pallet load. A standard pallet is 48 by 42 inches, but in specialized circumstances, pallets can be smaller or larger. If possible match the size of the pallet to the size of the cartons or containers to the size of the pallet to create a cube. In pallet loads comprised of multiple different types of product, this may not be possible.
2. There’s art in every pallet stack.
Depending on your line of business, pallet stacks can be the same each and every time, or be a constant puzzle to put together. For example, a pick and pack distribution center can have unlimited variations in packages – in size and weight – that are placed on the same pallet heading for the same destination, while a beverage distribution center will likely have multiple cases of the same product on each pallet day in and day out.
There are several accepted and distinct ways to stack a pallet (see diagram).
“A” Profile: A perfect cube, these loads have no protrusions and a clean shape. Because of its uniform shape, it’s the simplest load to apply stretch wrap.
“B” Profile: Different sized boxes may necessitate this type of pallet load. The protruding edges increase the likelihood of punctured stretch film, so it may entail a different or more “engineered” application of stretch film.
“C” Profile: The most irregular shaped profile, with its many corners, sharp edges and protrusions, it is likely pallet wrapping is probably the only way it can be unitized. But it will likely require an engineered solution in both the application and film itself to be unitized for shipment.
Other “common sense” tips:
Place heavier products on the bottom of the pallet,
Inspect the pallet for quality and safety before placing product on it.
Pack boxes/cartons tightly without space in between.
3. Choose the correct stretch film and application.
Stretch film is a raw material. It is the pallet stretch wrapper that takes this raw material and stretches it (and potentially other operations) to engineer the film to suit many applications – it’s what makes it such a versatile product. The characteristics of your product and overall pallet load will determine the type of “engineering” your pallet will need in the pallet wrapping process.
Our pallet wrap machines allow for customization of various elements, including film force, pre-stretch, wrap cycles (i.e. double wrap cycle, split wrap cycle, top banding) and wrap speed, among others. These controls allow for a standard stretch film to be used in most pallet wrapping applications, whether it’s a heavy load (a pallet of soda bottles), light load (PET bottles) or a pallet with multiple protruding corners.
The right film and application ensures the undamaged and safe shipment of the product.
4. Consider packaging add-ons.
With the pallet stretch wrapped, it’s likely ready for transport and delivery. But, some custom stretch wrapping applications require other packaging elements that can be built into the production line.
For example, some products/pallets require protection from the elements. Pallets of gardening supplies is a prime example – product is often shipped well ahead of the gardening season. A top sheet needs to be added to the pallet to ensure rain and snow don’t damage the product. This can be an in-line element to streamline the pallet wrapping process or done within the wrapping process to save valuable floor space.
Each time you build a pallet, you’re preparing your product for a customer. Although it’s one of the last elements in the production process, the condition of a pallet is the first impression your product makes on customers. Professional looking packaging is not only safe, it’s a reflection on how a company values its product and customers. Following these four guidelines will put you on the right path to pallet success.
Automation is a big step to take for any production line. Not only is it a significant capital investment, it is a substantial shift for employees and the way a business achieves its goals. If you are considering adding a conveyorized pallet wrapper to your floor, congratulations! It probably means your operations are doing well and you are looking for ways to find efficiencies as production increases.
Making the transition to increased automation is an exciting prospect, but should be done with careful consideration of all elements of your business operations. From adding a fully automatic stretch wrapper to your warehouse to incorporating a conveyorized pallet wrapper, there are many options out there. Conveyors will streamline processes, but they also occupy valuable floor space.
Let’s walk through the considerations you should ask yourself and staff before taking the leap into a conveyorized system.
Taking a look at the big picture – as well as all the little details along the way – is the essential first step in determining your present and future needs. If you’re a manager, meet with staff to get into the nitty gritty of how the production line works presently. Ask a lot of questions. There might be some steps employees take with each load that even the most attentive manager might not be fully aware of. If you’re considering changing the way they perform daily tasks by increasing automation, it’s vital to include employees in the process.
Start your evaluation at the beginning of the production line. How are the building blocks (the product) of each pallet brought into the warehouse/production area? How is each pallet built? Is the process the same every time, or does it change frequently?
Once the pallet is built, how it is readied for transport? Does it need to be moved to a designated wrapping area? How is it moved to the wrapping area, by pallet jack, forklift? How it is presently being wrapped: hand wrap, semi automatic stretch wrapper, automatic stretch wrapper or some other method? Are there multiple stretch wrapping machines, or only one? Is there standing time anywhere in the process (i.e. an employee waiting for a load to be wrapped)?
Once the pallet load is wrapped, how is it moved to a loading or staging area? Does your production line operate one shift or run around the clock? And so on.
You know your business better than anyone, so these questions are just a start. The bottom line is take a deep dive into your present processes. That’s how you’ll find efficiencies and challenges.
Caption: Watch a conveyorized Rotary Ring Automatic Stretch Wrapper in action for a beverage distribution center.
Think About Pace
When it comes to conveyors, one of the most important considerations is the pace of production. The goal is to have whatever additional automation brought into the system work seamlessly within your production line. Understanding the time it takes for each piece of the pallet building process gives you a general idea of how often a pallet would be introduced to the conveyor.
Some other areas to consider around production pace: How does this relate to other elements of production down the line? Will the conveyorized system be able to handle the pace of production? How many pallets should a conveyor be able to fit in order to match current (and future) production? Is the pace consistent or does it vary? Can you match the loading and offloading of the pallets on the conveyors or will a stack up result on either end?
Caption: The powerful and versatile Phoenix Rotary Ring Automatic stretch wrapper can fit into small space, even with conveyors. The model shown in the video is designed with two legs and takes up minimal floor space. Conveyors could be placed in different configurations to suit the space (including at a 90-degree angle for corners).
Target the Floor Space
Every inch of floor space is valuable commodity in any warehouse. It’s not only important to identify potential locations for a conveyorized system, but also one that works within your existing production line.
Keep in mind conveyors don’t have to be in a straight line. At Phoenix Wrappers, we’ve designed and installed custom conveyor systems to fit relatively small spaces. We’ve built conveyor systems to fit into unused corners of a warehouse and installed a wall mount rotary arm automatic stretch wrapper with conveyors to save space. There are options for increasing automation without taking over prime real estate in your warehouse.
Is There Enough Production?
One of the key justifications for increased automation and conveyors is meeting production demands. So, is there enough production to warrant a conveyorized system? Are your employees struggling to keep up with production goals? Are they working overtime to get everything completed? Is automation needed because your company is entering a new market or expanding a product line? This answer will be data driven, and should also consider future goals and production projections.
Caption: Our conveyors matched with a Phoenix Automatic Rotary Arm Stretch Wrapper can handle heavy loads, like these pallets of bricks.
When Are The Peak Times?
Altering a production system is a permanent change. Going back to “the way things were” is often difficult and costly. Before making the leap to automation, reflect on the highs and lows of your production output over the course of the year. Will a new element of automation handle the peak times? Will it still add efficiency to the production line during a slow time of year? If your production is more or less consistent all year long, consider the impact of potential growth over the next year and beyond. A conveyorized pallet wrapper is an investment in the future, which brings us to the last point for consideration.
Caption: The Phoenix Rotary Ring Automatic Stretch Wrapper with conveyors added efficiency to this customer’s warehouse. The video shows forklift operators placing and removing the pallets from the conveyors.
Projections for the Future
Introducing a conveyorized pallet wrapper into a production line is a decision that will impact your business for years to come. Don’t take it lightly. Look at your production numbers realistically and analyze this investment to be sure a conveyorized system is the right choice for your business. It might be wise to also consider the flexibility of a conveyorized pallet system – could it be added to if production calls for it down the line? As mentioned earlier, the addition of a fast and versatile non-conveyorized automatic stretch wrapper is another option that can also bring about efficiencies in the production line.
Ready to Move Forward?
If you’ve carefully considered the needs and implications of investing in a conveyorized pallet wrapper to your warehouse – and the conclusion is a conveyorized pallet wrapping system is a business necessity – Phoenix Wrappers offers a range of conveyorized pallet wrappers. If your business has special considerations, such as space or configuration, Phoenix works with customers to tailor a stretch wrapping system that meets the needs of the business.
Last week on the blog, we broke down two of the common automatic stretch wrapper machines: conveyorized rotary arm and turntable machines. Rotary arms and tables represent the more conventional types of stretch wrapping technology. In this post, we will touch on another traditional category, non-conveyorized automatics and also introduce rotary ring automatics, which make up newer technology within the stretch wrapping industry.
The main difference between a non-conveyorized and a conveyorized automatic is how the load is brought to the wrapping machine. With a non-conveyorized automatic machine, a forklift brings the load to the machine and takes it away, while a conveyorized automatic is brought to the machine by way of the attached conveyor.
For a non-conveyorized automatic, a forklift operator does not need to get off the forklift after placing the pallet on the stretch wrapper table. The operator only needs to place the load on the table and pull a cord that activates the machine.
Let’s look at three non-conveyorized Phoenix Wrapper machines:
The PLPA-2150 automatic stretch wrapper is designed for heavy loads. Most commonly, the PLPA is used in conjunction with pallet jacks and either an attached ramp or operated forklift. Since the machine is lower to the ground, an operator can run a load up the ramp and onto the turntable. It was built with durable components to withstand loads of up to 5,000 pounds and 52” X 52” in capacity. The PLPA-2150 is also known for its speed with the ability to wrap 40 loads per hour. While this product can be used as a stationary wrapping station, the PLPA-2150 is portable, providing the option to easily move it about the warehouse.
The PHPA-2150 has a handful of similar features as the PLPA-2150. The machine runs at the same weight, size capacity and speed of 5,000 pounds, 52” X 52”, and 40 loads per hour. Similar to the PLPA-2150, the PHPA 2150 is easy to move amongst your warehouse. Where the PHPA-2150 differs from the PLPA-2150 is the turntable. The turntable, shaped like an octagon, is 48” in diameter with 7x high capacity table support caster bearings. A PHPA is designed specifically for forklift use. Compared to the PLPA, the table is higher up allowing for a forklift operator to clearly see the table for depositing the load. Accuracy in load positioning is not as much a factor as with a PLPA for the forklift operator. You can see the PHPA-2150 in action below:
PRTL – 2150A
The most affordable machine for moving unstable and heavy loads, the PRTL-2150A is meant for unstable or very heavy loads where production rates require automatic capacity. As the loads sit on the plant floor, the machine has no limitations in the weight it can hold and is able to wrap 30 loads per hour. While the system is perfect for any wrapping application, it is most know for wrapping unstable loads that could fall apart on a turntable machine. The rugged all structural steel helps maintain durability, and the HSS tubing provides a strong but light-weight arm that minimizes the driving forces required to rotate the arm.
There is one deficiency in the conventional wrapping process which is causing a strong wave of change in the industry. Overall, the mechanical design of stretch wrapping equipment has not changed over the last forty years. Specifically, turntable and rotary arm technology has remained the same. The costly drawback to this old technology is that the clamp and cutting system are in a fixed location on the conveyor. This means that when the carriage moves to the top of the load to start a wrap cycle, it dispenses wasted film as it moves to get there. The 2 (or more) extra revolutions of film provide little value except to increase cost, waste, and wrapping time. The photo below shows the minimum revolutions eliminated compared to standard automatic wrappers:
The new technology of rotary ring machines are beginning to replace conventional arm and table wrappers. Rotary ring machines do not apply these wasted revolutions of film as the clamp and cut mechanism moves with the carriage. This simple difference results in tens of thousands of dollars in film savings, while allowing for faster and customized wrapping cycles.
Although patent issues prevented the widespread use of ring technology in North America, overwhelming dominance by rotary ring technology happened 20 years ago in Europe. Today, rotary ring wrappers have effectively replaced the old conventional rotary arm and turntable automatic machines in Europe, and now North America is rapidly switching out old turntables and arm machines with rotary ring machines to take advantage of the same benefits.
The PRRA-2100 rotary ring wrapper starts at the bottom of a load and finishes at the top without having to return back down to the clamp fixed at the conveyor. The act of not needing to apply wasted film at the beginning of a cycle like conventional wrappers do results in saving an extra 30 or more feet of stretch film which helps save thousands of dollars over the course of a year. You can start and stop your wrapping cycle anywhere on the load. The film carriage is supported and rotated using a 96” diameter ring. The carriage is the only part of the PRRA rotating which decreases the stress and strain on the equipment and allows for more than double that of most conventional wrappers. The PRRA-2100 is the equipment of choice in full time wrapping applications that are 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In addition to tens of thousands of dollars in potential film savings, the PRRA-2100 moves at a 21 RPM wrapping speed and holds the following pallet sizes:
48” X 50” L Max Pallet Size 80” H
36”X 36” Minimum Pallet Size 24”H
The PRRA-4000 is the next level rotary ring automatic that can help increase stretch wrapping productivity. The 40 RPM wrapping speed results in 120+ loads per hour. The PRRA-4000 also has the film saving benefit of the PRRA-2100 and holds the following pallet sizes:
48” X 50” L Max Pallet Size 80” H
36”X 36” Minimum Pallet Size 24”H
Watch the video below to see the PRRA-4000 in action:
Rotary ring technology gives you solutions to old stretch wrapping issues that conventional wrappers do not solve. In a future blog post, we will provide examples of how rotary ring technology is used not only to speed up production and save stretch film, but how being able to start and stop the wrapping anywhere on a load can solve other packaging issues.
We hope you enjoyed our two part blog post breaking down of the Phoenix stretch wrapping product line. We touched on both conveyorized and non-conveyorized automatics in addition to newer stretch wrapping technology in the rotary ring automatics. If interested, request a quote here. If you missed Part 1, read it here.
Once again Phoenix is in the beautiful city of Chicago for another packaging show. Thanks for all that visited us and if you haven’t done so yet, pass by our booth # 1859 and check out our upgraded stretch wrappers, it is the last day and we are super busy but we always have time for you!